As a continuation to Sweet Tooth Part 1, I’m going to introduce you to the non-chocolate sweets and candies that we locals like to enjoy on a daily basis. You can easily find them in any kioscos in your neighborhood.
Palitos de la Selva – These are soft candies, tube-shaped with a strawberry-vanilla flavor. A vertical half is pink, the other white; it is definitely one of the most popular sweets for the Argentines. One thing that sets it apart from all the other candies is that its wrapper has a drawing of a random animal and a little description of it. Other than being educational, it can be a game too. It works like this: each time you get a new candy you can read the description of the animal out loud and have your friends try to guess which animal it is!
Sugus – These Starburst-like candies are sold separately or in a bag where they come assorted. The original flavors are strawberry, lemon, orange, green apple, mint and pineapple (as seen in the picture attached). The newer ones cherry, mango, tutti-frutti and grape are also available. There’s also Sugus Max which are basically the same but bigger, and Sugus confitados which come in a box and are almond-shaped chewy candy with a sugar coating, these can be lemon-, strawberry- or pineapple-flavored.
Vauquita – An all-dulce-de-leche bar. No chocolate anywhere, just our delicious “milk jam”. This works because the outer layer of dulce de leche is hard to the point where it’s a little crunchy. There is a version for people who have celiac, just look for the green packaging.
Caramelos de dulce de leche – There are several brands for this. One of the best is “La Vaca Lechera”. These are medium-sized candy squares of chewy dulce de leche. Another one that is pretty popular is Butter Toffees, with its chewy dulce de leche-filled with caramel, chocolate or coffee, depending on the one you choose. These make a great alternative to getting the dulce de leche jar and carrying it all the way back home. Just make sure you have enough, because the withdrawal process is hard.
Media Hora – This candy has been around for ages but it is not very popular nowadays. It once was, but its bitter taste is not that appealing to this generation as it once was. The flavor is hard to explain; it’s similar to a Coca-Cola taste but bitterer and for some, it might even taste medicine-ish. It’s definitely an acquired taste. Give it a shot, you may like it!
Next time when you have a craving for some sweetness, I hope you’ll remember this guide and help you track down just that one sweet bite to satisfaction!